> Thus on the chill Lapponian's dreary land, For many a long month lost i_now profound, When Sol from Cancer sends the seasons bland, And in thei_orthern cave the storms hath bound; From silent mountains, straight, wit_tartling sound, Torrents are hurl'd, green hills emerge, and lo, The tree_ith foliage, cliffs with flow'rs are crown'd; Pure rills through vales o_erdure warbling go; And wonder, love, and joy, the peasant's heart o'erflow.
Several of her succeeding days passed in suspense, for Ludovico could onl_earn from the soldiers, that there was a prisoner in the apartment, describe_o him by Emily, and that he was a Frenchman, whom they had taken in one o_heir skirmishes, with a party of his countrymen. During this interval, Emil_scaped the persecutions of Bertolini, and Verezzi, by confining herself t_er apartment; except that sometimes, in an evening, she ventured to walk i_he adjoining corridor. Montoni appeared to respect his last promise, thoug_e had prophaned his first; for to his protection only could she attribute he_resent repose; and in this she was now so secure, that she did not wish t_eave the castle, till she could obtain some certainty concerning Valancourt; for which she waited, indeed, without any sacrifice of her own comfort, sinc_o circumstance had occurred to make her escape probable.
On the fourth day, Ludovico informed her, that he had hopes of being admitte_o the presence of the prisoner; it being the turn of a soldier, with whom h_ad been for some time familiar, to attend him on the following night. He wa_ot deceived in his hope; for, under pretence of carrying in a pitcher o_ater, he entered the prison, though, his prudence having prevented him fro_elling the sentinel the real motive of his visit, he was obliged to make hi_onference with the prisoner a very short one.
Emily awaited the result in her own apartment, Ludovico having promised t_ccompany Annette to the corridor, in the evening; where, after several hour_mpatiently counted, he arrived. Emily, having then uttered the name o_alancourt, could articulate no more, but hesitated in trembling expectation.
'The Chevalier would not entrust me with his name, Signora,' replied Ludovico;
'but, when I just mentioned yours, he seemed overwhelmed with joy, though h_as not so much surprised as I expected.' 'Does he then remember me?' sh_xclaimed.
'O! it is Mons. Valancourt,' said Annette, and looked impatiently at Ludovico, who understood her look, and replied to Emily: 'Yes, lady, the Chevalier does, indeed, remember you, and, I am sure, has a very great regard for you, and _ade bold to say you had for him. He then enquired how you came to know he wa_n the castle, and whether you ordered me to speak to him. The first questio_ could not answer, but the second I did; and then he went off into hi_cstasies again. I was afraid his joy would have betrayed him to the sentine_t the door.'
'But how does he look, Ludovico?' interrupted Emily: 'is he not melancholy an_ll with this long confinement?'—'Why, as to melancholy, I saw no symptom o_hat, lady, while I was with him, for he seemed in the finest spirits I eve_aw any body in, in all my life. His countenance was all joy, and, if one ma_udge from that, he was very well; but I did not ask him.' 'Did he send me n_essage?' said Emily. 'O yes, Signora, and something besides,' replie_udovico, who searched his pockets. 'Surely, I have not lost it,' added he.
'The Chevalier said, he would have written, madam, if he had had pen and ink, and was going to have sent a very long message, when the sentinel entered th_oom, but not before he had give me this.' Ludovico then drew forth _iniature from his bosom, which Emily received with a trembling hand, an_erceived to be a portrait of herself—the very picture, which her mother ha_ost so strangely in the fishing-house at La Vallee.
Tears of mingled joy and tenderness flowed to her eyes, while Ludovic_roceeded—'"Tell your lady," said the Chevalier, as he gave me the picture,
"that this has been my companion, and only solace in all my misfortunes. Tel_er, that I have worn it next my heart, and that I sent it her as the pledg_f an affection, which can never die; that I would not part with it, but t_er, for the wealth of worlds, and that I now part with it, only in the hop_f soon receiving it from her hands. Tell her"—Just then, Signora, th_entinel came in, and the Chevalier said no more; but he had before asked m_o contrive an interview for him with you; and when I told him, how littl_ope I had of prevailing with the guard to assist me, he said, that was not, perhaps, of so much consequence as I imagined, and bade me contrive to brin_ack your answer, and he would inform me of more than he chose to do then. S_his, I think, lady, is the whole of what passed.'
'How, Ludovico, shall I reward you for your zeal?' said Emily: 'but, indeed, _o not now possess the means. When can you see the Chevalier again?' 'That i_ncertain, Signora,' replied he. 'It depends upon who stands guard next: ther_re not more than one or two among them, from whom I would dare to as_dmittance to the prison-chamber.'
'I need not bid you remember, Ludovico,' resumed Emily, 'how very muc_nterested I am in your seeing the Chevalier soon; and, when you do so, tel_im, that I have received the picture, and, with the sentiments he wished.
Tell him I have suffered much, and still suffer—' She paused. 'But shall _ell him you will see him, lady?' said Ludovico. 'Most certainly I will,'
replied Emily. 'But when, Signora, and where?' 'That must depend upo_ircumstances,' returned Emily. 'The place, and the hour, must be regulated b_is opportunities.'
'As to the place, mademoiselle,' said Annette, 'there is no other place in th_astle, besides this corridor, where WE can see him in safety, you know; and, as for the hour,—it must be when all the Signors are asleep, if that eve_appens!' 'You may mention these circumstances to the Chevalier, Ludovico,'
said she, checking the flippancy of Annette, 'and leave them to his judgmen_nd opportunity. Tell him, my heart is unchanged. But, above all, let him se_ou again as soon as possible; and, Ludovico, I think it is needless to tel_ou I shall very anxiously look for you.' Having then wished her good night, Ludovico descended the staircase, and Emily retired to rest, but not to sleep, for joy now rendered her as wakeful, as she had ever been from grief. Monton_nd his castle had all vanished from her mind, like the frightful vision of _ecromancer, and she wandered, once more, in fairy scenes of unfadin_appiness:
As when, beneath the beam Of summer moons, the distant woods among, Or by som_lood, all silver'd with the gleam, The soft embodied Fays thro' airy portal_tream.
A week elapsed, before Ludovico again visited the prison; for the sentinels, during that period, were men, in whom he could not confide, and he feared t_waken curiosity, by asking to see their prisoner. In this interval, h_ommunicated to Emily terrific reports of what was passing in the castle; o_iots, quarrels, and of carousals more alarming than either; while from som_ircumstances, which he mentioned, she not only doubted, whether Montoni mean_ver to release her, but greatly feared, that he had designs, concernin_er,—such as she had formerly dreaded. Her name was frequently mentioned i_he conversations, which Bertolini and Verezzi held together, and, at thos_imes, they were frequently in contention. Montoni had lost large sums t_erezzi, so that there was a dreadful possibility of his designing her to be _ubstitute for the debt; but, as she was ignorant, that he had formerl_ncouraged the hopes of Bertolini also, concerning herself, after the latte_ad done him some signal service, she knew not how to account for thes_ontentions between Bertolini and Verezzi. The cause of them, however, appeared to be of little consequence, for she thought she saw destructio_pproaching in many forms, and her entreaties to Ludovico to contrive a_scape and to see the prisoner again, were more urgent than ever.
At length, he informed her, that he had again visited the Chevalier, who ha_irected him to confide in the guard of the prison, from whom he had alread_eceived some instances of kindness, and who had promised to permit his goin_nto the castle for half an hour, on the ensuing night, when Montoni and hi_ompanions should be engaged at their carousals. 'This was kind, to be sure,'
added Ludovico: 'but Sebastian knows he runs no risque in letting th_hevalier out, for, if he can get beyond the bars and iron doors of th_astle, he must be cunning indeed. But the Chevalier desired me, Signora, t_o to you immediately, and to beg you would allow him to visit you, thi_ight, if it was only for a moment, for that he could no longer live under th_ame roof, without seeing you; the hour, he said, he could not mention, for i_ust depend on circumstances (just as you said, Signora); and the place h_esired you would appoint, as knowing which was best for your own safety.'
Emily was now so much agitated by the near prospect of meeting Valancourt, that it was some time, before she could give any answer to Ludovico, o_onsider of the place of meeting; when she did, she saw none, that promised s_uch security, as the corridor, near her own apartment, which she was checke_rom leaving, by the apprehension of meeting any of Montoni's guests, on thei_ay to their rooms; and she dismissed the scruples, which delicacy opposed, now that a serious danger was to be avoided by encountering them. It wa_ettled, therefore, that the Chevalier should meet her in the corridor, a_hat hour of the night, which Ludovico, who was to be upon the watch, shoul_udge safest: and Emily, as may be imagined, passed this interval in a tumul_f hope and joy, anxiety and impatience. Never, since her residence in th_astle, had she watched, with so much pleasure, the sun set behind th_ountains, and twilight shade, and darkness veil the scene, as on thi_vening. She counted the notes of the great clock, and listened to the step_f the sentinels, as they changed the watch, only to rejoice, that anothe_our was gone. 'O, Valancourt!' said she, 'after all I have suffered; afte_ur long, long separation, when I thought I should never—never see you more—w_re still to meet again! O! I have endured grief, and anxiety, and terror, an_et me, then, not sink beneath this joy!' These were moments, when it wa_mpossible for her to feel emotions of regret, or melancholy, for any ordinar_nterests;—even the reflection, that she had resigned the estates, which woul_ave been a provision for herself and Valancourt for life, threw only a ligh_nd transient shade upon her spirits. The idea of Valancourt, and that sh_hould see him so soon, alone occupied her heart.
At length the clock struck twelve; she opened the door to listen, if any nois_as in the castle, and heard only distant shouts of riot and laughter, echoe_eebly along the gallery. She guessed, that the Signor and his guests were a_he banquet. 'They are now engaged for the night,' said she; 'and Valancour_ill soon be here.' Having softly closed the door, she paced the room wit_mpatient steps, and often went to the casement to listen for the lute; bu_ll was silent, and, her agitation every moment increasing, she was at lengt_nable to support herself, and sat down by the window. Annette, whom sh_etained, was, in the meantime, as loquacious as usual; but Emily hear_carcely any thing she said, and having at length risen to the casement, sh_istinguished the chords of the lute, struck with an expressive hand, and the_he voice, she had formerly listened to, accompanied it.
Now rising love they fann'd, now pleasing dole They breath'd in tender musing_hrough the heart; And now a graver, sacred strain they stole, As whe_eraphic hands an hymn impart!
Emily wept in doubtful joy and tenderness; and, when the strain ceased, sh_onsidered it as a signal, that Valancourt was about to leave the prison. Soo_fter, she heard steps in the corridor;—they were the light, quick steps o_ope; she could scarcely support herself, as they approached, but opening th_oor of the apartment, she advanced to meet Valancourt, and, in the nex_oment, sunk in the arms of a stranger. His voice—his countenance instantl_onvinced her, and she fainted away.
On reviving, she found herself supported by the stranger, who was watchin_ver her recovery, with a countenance of ineffable tenderness and anxiety. Sh_ad no spirits for reply, or enquiry; she asked no questions, but burst int_ears, and disengaged herself from his arms; when the expression of hi_ountenance changed to surprise and disappointment, and he turned to Ludovico, for an explanation; Annette soon gave the information, which Ludovico coul_ot. 'O, sir!' said she, in a voice, interrupted with sobs; 'O, sir! you ar_ot the other Chevalier. We expected Monsieur Valancourt, but you are not he!
O Ludovico! how could you deceive us so? my poor lady will never recove_t—never!' The stranger, who now appeared much agitated, attempted to speak, but his words faltered; and then striking his hand against his forehead, as i_n sudden despair, he walked abruptly to the other end of the corridor.
Suddenly, Annette dried her tears, and spoke to Ludovico. 'But, perhaps,' sai_he, 'after all, the other Chevalier is not this: perhaps the Chevalie_alancourt is still below.' Emily raised her head. 'No,' replied Ludovico,
'Monsieur Valancourt never was below, if this gentleman is not he.' 'If you, sir,' said Ludovico, addressing the stranger, 'would but have had the goodnes_o trust me with your name, this mistake had been avoided.' 'Most true,'
replied the stranger, speaking in broken Italian, 'but it was of the utmos_onsequence to me, that my name should be concealed from Montoni. Madam,'
added he then, addressing Emily in French, 'will you permit me to apologiz_or the pain I have occasioned you, and to explain to you alone my name, an_he circumstance, which has led me into this error? I am of France;—I am you_ountryman;—we are met in a foreign land.' Emily tried to compose her spirits; yet she hesitated to grant his request. At length, desiring, that Ludovic_ould wait on the stair-case, and detaining Annette, she told the stranger, that her woman understood very little Italian, and begged he would communicat_hat he wished to say, in that language.—Having withdrawn to a distant part o_he corridor, he said, with a long- drawn sigh, 'You, madam, are no strange_o me, though I am so unhappy as to be unknown to you.—My name is Du Pont; _m of France, of Gascony, your native province, and have long admired,—and, why should I affect to disguise it?—have long loved you.' He paused, but, i_he next moment, proceeded. 'My family, madam, is probably not unknown to you, for we lived within a few miles of La Vallee, and I have, sometimes, had th_appiness of meeting you, on visits in the neighbourhood. I will not offen_ou by repeating how much you interested me; how much I loved to wander in th_cenes you frequented; how often I visited your favourite fishing-house, an_amented the circumstance, which, at that time, forbade me to reveal m_assion. I will not explain how I surrendered to temptation, and becam_ossessed of a treasure, which was to me inestimable; a treasure, which _ommitted to your messenger, a few days ago, with expectations very differen_rom my present ones. I will say nothing of these circumstances, for I kno_hey will avail me little; let me only supplicate from you forgiveness, an_he picture, which I so unwarily returned. Your generosity will pardon th_heft, and restore the prize. My crime has been my punishment; for th_ortrait I stole has contributed to nourish a passion, which must still be m_orment.'
Emily now interrupted him. 'I think, sir, I may leave it to your integrity t_etermine, whether, after what has just appeared, concerning Mons. Valancourt, I ought to return the picture. I think you will acknowledge, that this woul_ot be generosity; and you will allow me to add, that it would be doing mysel_n injustice. I must consider myself honoured by your good opinion, but'—an_he hesitated,—'the mistake of this evening makes it unnecessary for me to sa_ore.'
'It does, madam,—alas! it does!' said the stranger, who, after a long pause, proceeded.—'But you will allow me to shew my disinterestedness, though not m_ove, and will accept the services I offer. Yet, alas! what services can _ffer? I am myself a prisoner, a sufferer, like you. But, dear as liberty i_o me, I would not seek it through half the hazards I would encounter t_eliver you from this recess of vice. Accept the offered services of a friend; do not refuse me the reward of having, at least, attempted to deserve you_hanks.'
'You deserve them already, sir,' said Emily; 'the wish deserves my warmes_hanks. But you will excuse me for reminding you of the danger you incur b_rolonging this interview. It will be a great consolation to me to remember, whether your friendly attempts to release me succeed or not, that I have _ountryman, who would so generously protect me.'—Monsieur Du Pont took he_and, which she but feebly attempted to withdraw, and pressed it respectfull_o his lips. 'Allow me to breathe another fervent sigh for your happiness,'
said he, 'and to applaud myself for an affection, which I cannot conquer.' A_e said this, Emily heard a noise from her apartment, and, turning round, sa_he door from the stair-case open, and a man rush into her chamber. 'I wil_each you to conquer it,' cried he, as he advanced into the corridor, and dre_ stiletto, which he aimed at Du Pont, who was unarmed, but who, steppin_ack, avoided the blow, and then sprung upon Verezzi, from whom he wrenche_he stiletto. While they struggled in each other's grasp, Emily, followed b_nnette, ran further into the corridor, calling on Ludovico, who was, however, gone from the stair-case, and, as she advanced, terrified and uncertain wha_o do, a distant noise, that seemed to arise from the hall, reminded her o_he danger she was incurring; and, sending Annette forward in search o_udovico, she returned to the spot where Du Pont and Verezzi were stil_truggling for victory. It was her own cause which was to be decided with tha_f the former, whose conduct, independently of this circumstance, would, however, have interested her in his success, even had she not disliked an_readed Verezzi. She threw herself in a chair, and supplicated them to desis_rom further violence, till, at length, Du Pont forced Verezzi to the floor, where he lay stunned by the violence of his fall; and she then entreated D_ont to escape from the room, before Montoni, or his party, should appear; bu_e still refused to leave her unprotected; and, while Emily, now mor_errified for him, than for herself, enforced the entreaty, they heard step_scending the private stair-case.
'O you are lost!' cried she, 'these are Montoni's people.' Du Pont made n_eply, but supported Emily, while, with a steady, though eager, countenance, he awaited their appearance, and, in the next moment, Ludovico, alone, mounte_he landing-place. Throwing an hasty glance round the chamber, 'Follow me,'
said he, 'as you value your lives; we have not an instant to lose!'
Emily enquired what had occurred, and whither they were to go?
'I cannot stay to tell you now, Signora,' replied Ludovico: 'fly! fly!'
She immediately followed him, accompanied by Mons. Du Pont, down the stair- case, and along a vaulted passage, when suddenly she recollected Annette, an_nquired for her. 'She awaits us further on, Signora,' said Ludovico, almos_reathless with haste; 'the gates were open, a moment since, to a party jus_ome in from the mountains: they will be shut, I fear, before we can reac_hem! Through this door, Signora,' added Ludovico, holding down the lamp,
'take care, here are two steps.'
Emily followed, trembling still more, than before she had understood, that he_scape from the castle, depended upon the present moment; while Du Pon_upported her, and endeavoured, as they passed along, to cheer her spirits.
'Speak low, Signor,' said Ludovico, 'these passages send echoes all round th_astle.'
'Take care of the light,' cried Emily, 'you go so fast, that the air wil_xtinguish it.'
Ludovico now opened another door, where they found Annette, and the party the_escended a short flight of steps into a passage, which, Ludovico said, le_ound the inner court of the castle, and opened into the outer one. As the_dvanced, confused and tumultuous sounds, that seemed to come from the inne_ourt, alarmed Emily. 'Nay, Signora,' said Ludovico, 'our only hope is in tha_umult; while the Signor's people are busied about the men, who are jus_rrived, we may, perhaps, pass unnoticed through the gates. But hush!' h_dded, as they approached the small door, that opened into the outer court,
'if you will remain here a moment, I will go to see whether the gates ar_pen, and any body is in the way. Pray extinguish the light, Signor, if yo_ear me talking,' continued Ludovico, delivering the lamp to Du Pont, 'an_emain quite still.'
Saying this, he stepped out upon the court, and they closed the door, listening anxiously to his departing steps. No voice, however, was heard i_he court, which he was crossing, though a confusion of many voices yet issue_rom the inner one. 'We shall soon be beyond the walls,' said Du Pont softl_o Emily, 'support yourself a little longer, Madam, and all will be well.'
But soon they heard Ludovico speaking loud, and the voice also of some othe_erson, and Du Pont immediately extinguished the lamp. 'Ah! it is too late!'
exclaimed Emily, 'what is to become of us?' They listened again, and the_erceived, that Ludovico was talking with a sentinel, whose voices were hear_lso by Emily's favourite dog, that had followed her from the chamber, and no_arked loudly. 'This dog will betray us!' said Du Pont, 'I will hold him.' '_ear he has already betrayed us!' replied Emily. Du Pont, however, caught hi_p, and, again listening to what was going on without, they heard Ludovic_ay, 'I'll watch the gates the while.'
'Stay a minute,' replied the sentinel, 'and you need not have the trouble, fo_he horses will be sent round to the outer stables, then the gates will b_hut, and I can leave my post.' 'I don't mind the trouble, comrade,' sai_udovico, 'you will do such another good turn for me, some time. Go—go, an_etch the wine; the rogues, that are just come in, will drink it all else.'
The soldier hesitated, and then called aloud to the people in the secon_ourt, to know why they did not send out the horses, that the gates might b_hut; but they were too much engaged, to attend to him, even if they had hear_is voice.
'Aye—aye,' said Ludovico, 'they know better than that; they are sharing it al_mong them; if you wait till the horses come out, you must wait till the win_s drunk. I have had my share already, but, since you do not care about yours, I see no reason why I should not have that too.'
'Hold, hold, not so fast,' cried the sentinel, 'do watch then, for a moment: I'll be with you presently.'
'Don't hurry yourself,' said Ludovico, coolly, 'I have kept guard before now.
But you may leave me your trombone,* that, if the castle should be attacked, you know, I may be able to defend the pass, like a hero.'
(* A kind of blunderbuss. [A. R.])
'There, my good fellow,' returned the soldier, 'there, take it—it has see_ervice, though it could do little in defending the castle. I'll tell you _ood story, though, about this same trombone.'
'You'll tell it better when you have had the wine,' said Ludovico. 'There!
they are coming out from the court already.'
'I'll have the wine, though,' said the sentinel, running off. 'I won't kee_ou a minute.'
'Take your time, I am in no haste,' replied Ludovico, who was already hurryin_cross the court, when the soldier came back. 'Whither so fast, friend—whithe_o fast?' said the latter. 'What! is this the way you keep watch! I must stan_o my post myself, I see.'
'Aye, well,' replied Ludovico, 'you have saved me the trouble of following yo_urther, for I wanted to tell you, if you have a mind to drink the Tuscan_ine, you must go to Sebastian, he is dealing it out; the other that Federic_as, is not worth having. But you are not likely to have any, I see, for the_re all coming out.'
'By St. Peter! so they are,' said the soldier, and again ran off, whil_udovico, once more at liberty, hastened to the door of the passage, wher_mily was sinking under the anxiety this long discourse had occasioned; but, on his telling them the court was clear, they followed him to the gates, without waiting another instant, yet not before he had seized two horses, tha_ad strayed from the second court, and were picking a scanty meal among th_rass, which grew between the pavement of the first.
They passed, without interruption, the dreadful gates, and took the road tha_ed down among the woods, Emily, Monsieur Du Pont and Annette on foot, an_udovico, who was mounted on one horse, leading the other. Having reache_hem, they stopped, while Emily and Annette were placed on horseback wit_heir two protectors, when, Ludovico leading the way, they set off as fast a_he broken road, and the feeble light, which a rising moon threw among th_oliage, would permit.
Emily was so much astonished by this sudden departure, that she scarcely dare_o believe herself awake; and she yet much doubted whether this adventur_ould terminate in escape,—a doubt, which had too much probability to justif_t; for, before they quitted the woods, they heard shouts in the wind, and, o_merging from them, saw lights moving quickly near the castle above. Du Pon_hipped his horse, and with some difficulty compelled him to go faster.
'Ah! poor beast,' said Ludovico, 'he is weary enough;—he has been out all day; but, Signor, we must fly for it, now; for yonder are lights coming this way.'
Having given his own horse a lash, they now both set off on a full gallop; and, when they again looked back, the lights were so distant as scarcely to b_iscerned, and the voices were sunk into silence. The travellers then abate_heir pace, and, consulting whither they should direct their course, it wa_etermined they should descend into Tuscany, and endeavour to reach th_editerranean, where they could readily embark for France. Thither Du Pon_eant to attend Emily, if he should learn, that the regiment he ha_ccompanied into Italy, was returned to his native country.
They were now in the road, which Emily had travelled with Ugo and Bertrand; but Ludovico, who was the only one of the party, acquainted with the passes o_hese mountains, said, that, a little further on, a bye-road, branching fro_his, would lead them down into Tuscany with very little difficulty; and that, at a few leagues distance, was a small town, where necessaries could b_rocured for their journey.
'But, I hope,' added he, 'we shall meet with no straggling parties o_anditti; some of them are abroad, I know. However, I have got a goo_rombone, which will be of some service, if we should encounter any of thos_rave spirits. You have no arms, Signor?' 'Yes,' replied Du Pont, 'I have th_illain's stilletto, who would have stabbed me—but let us rejoice in ou_scape from Udolpho, nor torment ourselves with looking out for dangers, tha_ay never arrive.'
The moon was now risen high over the woods, that hung upon the sides of th_arrow glen, through which they wandered, and afforded them light sufficien_o distinguish their way, and to avoid the loose and broken stones, tha_requently crossed it. They now travelled leisurely, and in profound silence; for they had scarcely yet recovered from the astonishment, into which thi_udden escape had thrown them.—Emily's mind, especially, was sunk, after th_arious emotions it had suffered, into a kind of musing stillness, which th_eposing beauty of the surrounding scene and the creeping murmur of the night- breeze among the foliage above contributed to prolong. She thought o_alancourt and of France, with hope, and she would have thought of them wit_oy, had not the first events of this evening harassed her spirits too much, to permit her now to feel so lively a sensation. Meanwhile, Emily was alon_he object of Du Pont's melancholy consideration; yet, with the despondency h_uffered, as he mused on his recent disappointment, was mingled a swee_leasure, occasioned by her presence, though they did not now exchange _ingle word. Annette thought of this wonderful escape, of the bustle in whic_ontoni and his people must be, now that their flight was discovered; of he_ative country, whither she hoped she was returning, and of her marriage wit_udovico, to which there no longer appeared any impediment, for poverty sh_id not consider such. Ludovico, on his part, congratulated himself, on havin_escued his Annette and Signora Emily from the danger, that had surrounde_hem; on his own liberation from people, whose manners he had long detested; on the freedom he had given to Monsieur Du Pont; on his prospect of happines_ith the object of his affections, and not a little on the address, with whic_e had deceived the sentinel, and conducted the whole of this affair.
Thus variously engaged in thought, the travellers passed on silently, fo_bove an hour, a question only being, now and then, asked by Du Pont, concerning the road, or a remark uttered by Annette, respecting objects, see_mperfectly in the twilight. At length, lights were perceived twinkling on th_ide of a mountain, and Ludovico had no doubt, that they proceeded from th_own he had mentioned, while his companions, satisfied by this assurance, sun_gain into silence. Annette was the first who interrupted this. 'Holy Peter!'
said she, 'What shall we do for money on our journey? for I know neither I, o_y lady, have a single sequin; the Signor took care of that!'
This remark produced a serious enquiry, which ended in as serious a_mbarrassment, for Du Pont had been rifled of nearly all his money, when h_as taken prisoner; the remainder he had given to the sentinel, who ha_nabled him occasionally to leave his prison- chamber; and Ludovico, who ha_or some time found a difficulty, in procuring any part of the wages due t_im, had now scarcely cash sufficient to procure necessary refreshment at th_irst town, in which they should arrive.
Their poverty was the more distressing, since it would detain them among th_ountains, where, even in a town, they could scarcely consider themselves saf_rom Montoni. The travellers, however, had only to proceed and dare th_uture; and they continued their way through lonely wilds and dusky vallies, where the overhanging foliage now admitted, and then excluded the moon- light;—wilds so desolate, that they appeared, on the first glance, as if n_uman being had ever trode them before. Even the road, in which the part_ere, did but slightly contradict this error, for the high grass and othe_uxuriant vegetation, with which it was overgrown, told how very seldom th_oot of a traveller had passed it.
At length, from a distance, was heard the faint tinkling of a sheep- bell; and, soon after, the bleat of flocks, and the party then knew, that they wer_ear some human habitation, for the light, which Ludovico had fancied t_roceed from a town, had long been concealed by intervening mountains. Cheere_y this hope, they quickened their pace along the narrow pass they wer_inding, and it opened upon one of those pastoral vallies of the Apennines, which might be painted for a scene of Arcadia, and whose beauty and simplicit_re finely contrasted by the grandeur of the snow-topt mountains above.
The morning light, now glimmering in the horizon, shewed faintly, at a littl_istance, upon the brow of a hill, which seemed to peep from 'under th_pening eye-lids of the morn,' the town they were in search of, and which the_oon after reached. It was not without some difficulty, that they there foun_ house, which could afford shelter for themselves and their horses; and Emil_esired they might not rest longer than was necessary for refreshment. He_ppearance excited some surprise, for she was without a hat, having had tim_nly to throw on her veil before she left the castle, a circumstance, tha_ompelled her to regret again the want of money, without which it wa_mpossible to procure this necessary article of dress.
Ludovico, on examining his purse, found it even insufficient to supply presen_efreshment, and Du Pont, at length, ventured to inform the landlord, whos_ountenance was simple and honest, of their exact situation, and requested, that he would assist them to pursue their journey; a purpose, which h_romised to comply with, as far as he was able, when he learned that they wer_risoners escaping from Montoni, whom he had too much reason to hate. But, though he consented to lend them fresh horses to carry them to the next town, he was too poor himself to trust them with money, and they were agai_amenting their poverty, when Ludovico, who had been with his tired horses t_he hovel, which served for a stable, entered the room, half frantic with joy, in which his auditors soon participated. On removing the saddle from one o_he horses, he had found beneath it a small bag, containing, no doubt, th_ooty of one of the condottieri, who had returned from a plundering excursion, just before Ludovico left the castle, and whose horse having strayed from th_nner court, while his master was engaged in drinking, had brought away th_reasure, which the ruffian had considered the reward of his exploit.
On counting over this, Du Pont found, that it would be more than sufficient t_arry them all to France, where he now determined to accompany Emily, whethe_e should obtain intelligence of his regiment, or not; for, though he had a_uch confidence in the integrity of Ludovico, as his small knowledge of hi_llowed, he could not endure the thought of committing her to his care for th_oyage; nor, perhaps, had he resolution enough to deny himself the dangerou_leasure, which he might derive from her presence.
He now consulted them, concerning the sea-port, to which they should direc_heir way, and Ludovico, better informed of the geography of the country, said, that Leghorn was the nearest port of consequence, which Du Pont kne_lso to be the most likely of any in Italy to assist their plan, since fro_hence vessels of all nations were continually departing. Thither, therefore, it was determined, that they should proceed.
Emily, having purchased a little straw hat, such as was worn by the peasan_irls of Tuscany, and some other little necessary equipments for the journey, and the travellers, having exchanged their tired horses for others better abl_o carry them, re-commenced their joyous way, as the sun was rising over th_ountains, and, after travelling through this romantic country, for severa_ours, began to descend into the vale of Arno. And here Emily beheld all th_harms of sylvan and pastoral landscape united, adorned with the elegan_illas of the Florentine nobles, and diversified with the various riches o_ultivation. How vivid the shrubs, that embowered the slopes, with the woods, that stretched amphitheatrically along the mountains! and, above all, ho_legant the outline of these waving Apennines, now softening from th_ildness, which their interior regions exhibited! At a distance, in the east, Emily discovered Florence, with its towers rising on the brilliant horizon, and its luxuriant plain, spreading to the feet of the Apennines, speckled wit_ardens and magnificent villas, or coloured with groves of orange and lemon, with vines, corn, and plantations of olives and mulberry; while, to the west, the vale opened to the waters of the Mediterranean, so distant, that they wer_nown only by a blueish line, that appeared upon the horizon, and by the ligh_arine vapour, which just stained the aether above.
With a full heart, Emily hailed the waves, that were to bear her back to he_ative country, the remembrance of which, however, brought with it a pang; fo_he had there no home to receive, no parents to welcome her, but was going, like a forlorn pilgrim, to weep over the sad spot, where he, who WAS he_ather, lay interred. Nor were her spirits cheered, when she considered ho_ong it would probably be before she should see Valancourt, who might b_tationed with his regiment in a distant part of France, and that, when the_id meet, it would be only to lament the successful villany of Montoni; yet, still she would have felt inexpressible delight at the thought of being onc_ore in the same country with Valancourt, had it even been certain, that sh_ould not see him.
The intense heat, for it was now noon, obliged the travellers to look out fo_ shady recess, where they might rest, for a few hours, and the neighbourin_hickets, abounding with wild grapes, raspberries, and figs, promised the_rateful refreshment. Soon after, they turned from the road into a grove, whose thick foliage entirely excluded the sun-beams, and where a spring, gushing from the rock, gave coolness to the air; and, having alighted an_urned the horses to graze, Annette and Ludovico ran to gather fruit from th_urrounding thickets, of which they soon returned with an abundance. Th_ravellers, seated under the shade of a pine and cypress grove and on turf, enriched with such a profusion of fragrant flowers, as Emily had scarcely eve_een, even among the Pyrenees, took their simple repast, and viewed, with ne_elight, beneath the dark umbrage of gigantic pines, the glowing landscap_tretching to the sea.
Emily and Du Pont gradually became thoughtful and silent; but Annette was al_oy and loquacity, and Ludovico was gay, without forgetting the respectfu_istance, which was due to his companions. The repast being over, Du Pon_ecommended Emily to endeavour to sleep, during these sultry hours, and, desiring the servants would do the same, said he would watch the while; bu_udovico wished to spare him this trouble; and Emily and Annette, wearied wit_ravelling, tried to repose, while he stood guard with his trombone.
When Emily, refreshed by slumber, awoke, she found the sentinel asleep on hi_ost and Du Pont awake, but lost in melancholy thought. As the sun was yet to_igh to allow them to continue their journey, and as it was necessary, tha_udovico, after the toils and trouble he had suffered, should finish hi_leep, Emily took this opportunity of enquiring by what accident Du Pon_ecame Montoni's prisoner, and he, pleased with the interest this enquir_xpressed and with the excuse it gave him for talking to her of himself, immediately answered her curiosity.
'I came into Italy, madam,' said Du Pont, 'in the service of my country. In a_dventure among the mountains our party, engaging with the bands of Montoni, was routed, and I, with a few of my comrades, was taken prisoner. When the_old me, whose captive I was, the name of Montoni struck me, for I remembered, that Madame Cheron, your aunt, had married an Italian of that name, and tha_ou had accompanied them into Italy. It was not, however, till some tim_fter, that I became convinced this was the same Montoni, or learned that you, madam, was under the same roof with myself. I will not pain you by describin_hat were my emotions upon this discovery, which I owed to a sentinel, whom _ad so far won to my interest, that he granted me many indulgences, one o_hich was very important to me, and somewhat dangerous to himself; but h_ersisted in refusing to convey any letter, or notice of my situation to you, for he justly dreaded a discovery and the consequent vengeance of Montoni. H_owever enabled me to see you more than once. You are surprised, madam, and _ill explain myself. My health and spirits suffered extremely from want of ai_nd exercise, and, at length, I gained so far upon the pity, or the avarice o_he man, that he gave me the means of walking on the terrace.'
Emily now listened, with very anxious attention, to the narrative of Du Pont, who proceeded:
'In granting this indulgence, he knew, that he had nothing to apprehend from _hance of my escaping from a castle, which was vigilantly guarded, and th_earest terrace of which rose over a perpendicular rock; he shewed me also,'
continued Du Pont, 'a door concealed in the cedar wainscot of the apartmen_here I was confined, which he instructed me how to open; and which, leadin_nto a passage, formed within the thickness of the wall, that extended fa_long the castle, finally opened in an obscure corner of the eastern rampart.
I have since been informed, that there are many passages of the same kin_oncealed within the prodigious walls of that edifice, and which were, undoubtedly, contrived for the purpose of facilitating escapes in time of war.
Through this avenue, at the dead of night, I often stole to the terrace, wher_ walked with the utmost caution, lest my steps should betray me to th_entinels on duty in distant parts; for this end of it, being guarded by hig_uildings, was not watched by soldiers. In one of these midnight wanderings, _aw light in a casement that overlooked the rampart, and which, I observed, was immediately over my prison-chamber. It occurred to me, that you might b_n that apartment, and, with the hope of seeing you, I placed myself opposit_o the window.'
Emily, remembering the figure that had formerly appeared on the terrace, an_hich had occasioned her so much anxiety, exclaimed, 'It was you then, Monsieur Du Pont, who occasioned me much foolish terror; my spirits were, a_hat time, so much weakened by long suffering, that they took alarm at ever_int.' Du Pont, after lamenting, that he had occasioned her any apprehension, added, 'As I rested on the wall, opposite to your casement, the consideratio_f your melancholy situation and of my own called from me involuntary sound_f lamentation, which drew you, I fancy, to the casement; I saw there _erson, whom I believed to be you. O! I will say nothing of my emotion at tha_oment; I wished to speak, but prudence restrained me, till the distant foot- step of a sentinel compelled me suddenly to quit my station.
'It was some time, before I had another opportunity of walking, for I coul_nly leave my prison, when it happened to be the turn of one man to guard me; meanwhile I became convinced from some circumstances related by him, that you_partment was over mine, and, when again I ventured forth, I returned to you_asement, where again I saw you, but without daring to speak. I waved my hand, and you suddenly disappeared; then it was, that I forgot my prudence, an_ielded to lamentation; again you appeared—you spoke—I heard the well-know_ccent of your voice! and, at that moment, my discretion would have forsake_e again, had I not heard also the approaching steps of a soldier, when _nstantly quitted the place, though not before the man had seen me. H_ollowed down the terrace and gained so fast upon me, that I was compelled t_ake use of a stratagem, ridiculous enough, to save myself. I had heard of th_uperstition of many of these men, and I uttered a strange noise, with a hope, that my pursuer would mistake it for something supernatural, and desist fro_ursuit. Luckily for myself I succeeded; the man, it seems, was subject t_its, and the terror he suffered threw him into one, by which accident _ecured my retreat. A sense of the danger I had escaped, and the increase_atchfulness, which my appearance had occasioned among the sentinels, deterre_e ever after from walking on the terrace; but, in the stillness of night, _requently beguiled myself with an old lute, procured for me by a soldier, which I sometimes accompanied with my voice, and sometimes, I wil_cknowledge, with a hope of making myself heard by you; but it was only a fe_venings ago, that this hope was answered. I then thought I heard a voice i_he wind, calling me; yet, even then I feared to reply, lest the sentinel a_he prison door should hear me. Was I right, madam, in this conjecture—was i_ou who spoke?'
'Yes,' said Emily, with an involuntary sigh, 'you was right indeed.'
Du Pont, observing the painful emotions, which this question revived, no_hanged the subject. 'In one of my excursions through the passage, which _ave mentioned, I overheard a singular conversation,' said he.
'In the passage!' said Emily, with surprise.
'I heard it in the passage,' said Du Pont, 'but it proceeded from a_partment, adjoining the wall, within which the passage wound, and the shel_f the wall was there so thin, and was also somewhat decayed, that I coul_istinctly hear every word, spoken on the other side. It happened that Monton_nd his companions were assembled in the room, and Montoni began to relate th_xtraordinary history of the lady, his predecessor, in the castle. He did, indeed, mention some very surprising circumstances, and whether they wer_trictly true, his conscience must decide; I fear it will determine agains_im. But you, madam, have doubtless heard the report, which he designs shoul_irculate, on the subject of that lady's mysterious fate.'
'I have, sir,' replied Emily, 'and I perceive, that you doubt it.'
'I doubted it before the period I am speaking of,' rejoined Du Pont;- -'bu_ome circumstances, mentioned by Montoni, greatly contributed to m_uspicions. The account I then heard, almost convinced me, that he was _urderer. I trembled for you;—the more so that I had heard the guests mentio_our name in a manner, that threatened your repose; and, knowing, that th_ost impious men are often the most superstitious, I determined to try whethe_ could not awaken their consciences, and awe them from the commission of th_rime I dreaded. I listened closely to Montoni, and, in the most strikin_assages of his story, I joined my voice, and repeated his last words, in _isguised and hollow tone.'
'But was you not afraid of being discovered?' said Emily.
'I was not,' replied Du Pont; 'for I knew, that, if Montoni had bee_cquainted with the secret of this passage, he would not have confined me i_he apartment, to which it led. I knew also, from better authority, that h_as ignorant of it. The party, for some time, appeared inattentive to m_oice; but, at length, were so much alarmed, that they quitted the apartment; and, having heard Montoni order his servants to search it, I returned to m_rison, which was very distant from this part of the passage.' 'I remembe_erfectly to have heard of the conversation you mention,' said Emily; 'i_pread a general alarm among Montoni's people, and I will own I was wea_nough to partake of it.'
Monsieur Du Pont and Emily thus continued to converse of Montoni, and then o_rance, and of the plan of their voyage; when Emily told him, that it was he_ntention to retire to a convent in Languedoc, where she had been formerl_reated with much kindness, and from thence to write to her relation Monsieu_uesnel, and inform him of her conduct. There, she designed to wait, till L_allee should again be her own, whither she hoped her income would some tim_ermit her to return; for Du Pont now taught her to expect, that the estate, of which Montoni had attempted to defraud her, was not irrecoverably lost, an_e again congratulated her on her escape from Montoni, who, he had not _oubt, meant to have detained her for life. The possibility of recovering he_unt's estates for Valancourt and herself lighted up a joy in Emily's heart, such as she had not known for many months; but she endeavoured to conceal thi_rom Monsieur Du Pont, lest it should lead him to a painful remembrance of hi_ival.
They continued to converse, till the sun was declining in the west, when D_ont awoke Ludovico, and they set forward on their journey. Graduall_escending the lower slopes of the valley, they reached the Arno, and woun_long its pastoral margin, for many miles, delighted with the scenery aroun_hem, and with the remembrances, which its classic waves revived. At _istance, they heard the gay song of the peasants among the vineyards, an_bserved the setting sun tint the waves with yellow lustre, and twilight dra_ dusky purple over the mountains, which, at length, deepened into night. The_he LUCCIOLA, the fire-fly of Tuscany, was seen to flash its sudden spark_mong the foliage, while the cicala, with its shrill note, became mor_lamorous than even during the noon-day heat, loving best the hour when th_nglish beetle, with less offensive sound,
winds His small but sullen horn, As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path, Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum.[](footnotes.xml#footnote_5) Th_ravellers crossed the Arno by moon-light, at a ferry, and, learning that Pis_as distant only a few miles down the river, they wished to have proceede_hither in a boat, but, as none could be procured, they set out on thei_earied horses for that city. As they approached it, the vale expanded into _lain, variegated with vineyards, corn, olives and mulberry groves; but it wa_ate, before they reached its gates, where Emily was surprised to hear th_usy sound of footsteps and the tones of musical instruments, as well as t_ee the lively groups, that filled the streets, and she almost fancied hersel_gain at Venice; but here was no moon-light sea—no gay gondolas, dashing th_aves,—no PALLADIAN palaces, to throw enchantment over the fancy and lead i_nto the wilds of fairy story. The Arno rolled through the town, but no musi_rembled from balconies over its waters; it gave only the busy voices o_ailors on board vessels just arrived from the Mediterranean; the melanchol_eaving of the anchor, and the shrill boatswain's whistle;—sounds, which, since that period, have there sunk almost into silence. They then served t_emind Du Pont, that it was probable he might hear of a vessel, sailing soo_o France from this port, and thus be spared the trouble of going to Leghorn.
As soon as Emily had reached the inn, he went therefore to the quay, to mak_is enquiries; but, after all the endeavours of himself and Ludovico, the_ould hear of no bark, destined immediately for France, and the traveller_eturned to their resting-place. Here also, Du Pont endeavoured to learn wher_is regiment then lay, but could acquire no information concerning it. Th_ravellers retired early to rest, after the fatigues of this day; and, on th_ollowing, rose early, and, without pausing to view the celebrated antiquitie_f the place, or the wonders of its hanging tower, pursued their journey i_he cooler hours, through a charming country, rich with wine, and corn an_il. The Apennines, no longer awful, or even grand, here softened into th_eauty of sylvan and pastoral landscape; and Emily, as she descended them, looked down delighted on Leghorn, and its spacious bay, filled with vessels, and crowned with these beautiful hills. She was no less surprised and amused, on entering this town, to find it crowded with persons in the dresses of al_ations; a scene, which reminded her of a Venetian masquerade, such as she ha_itnessed at the time of the Carnival; but here, was bustle, without gaiety, and noise instead of music, while elegance was to be looked for only in th_aving outlines of the surrounding hills. Monsieur Du Pont, immediately o_heir arrival, went down to the quay, where he heard of several Frenc_essels, and of one, that was to sail, in a few days, for Marseilles, fro_hence another vessel could be procured, without difficulty, to take the_cross the gulf of Lyons towards Narbonne, on the coast not many leagues fro_hich city he understood the convent was seated, to which Emily wished t_etire. He, therefore, immediately engaged with the captain to take them t_arseilles, and Emily was delighted to hear, that her passage to France wa_ecured. Her mind was now relieved from the terror of pursuit, and th_leasing hope of soon seeing her native country— that country which hel_alancourt, restored to her spirits a degree of cheerfulness, such as she ha_carcely known, since the death of her father. At Leghorn also, Du Pont hear_f his regiment, and that it had embarked for France; a circumstance, whic_ave him great satisfaction, for he could now accompany Emily thither, withou_eproach to his conscience, or apprehension of displeasure from his commander.
During these days, he scrupulously forbore to distress her by a mention of hi_assion, and she was compelled to esteem and pity, though she could not lov_im. He endeavoured to amuse her by shewing the environs of the town, and the_ften walked together on the sea-shore, and on the busy quays, where Emily wa_requently interested by the arrival and departure of vessels, participatin_n the joy of meeting friends, and, sometimes, shedding a sympathetic tear t_he sorrow of those, that were separating. It was after having witnessed _cene of the latter kind, that she arranged the following stanzas: **THE MARINER** Soft came the breath of spring; smooth flow'd the tide; And blue the heaven i_ts mirror smil'd; The white sail trembled, swell'd, expanded wide, The bus_ailors at the anchor toil'd. With anxious friends, that shed the partin_ear, The deck was throng'd—how swift the moments fly! The vessel heaves, th_arewel signs appear; Mute is each tongue, and eloquent each eye! The las_read moment comes!—The sailor-youth Hides the big drop, then smiles amid hi_ain, Sooths his sad bride, and vows eternal truth, 'Farewel, my love—w_hall—shall meet again!' Long on the stern, with waving hand, he stood; Th_rowded shore sinks, lessening, from his view, As gradual glides the bar_long the flood; His bride is seen no more—'Adieu!—adieu!' The breeze of Ev_oans low, her smile is o'er, Dim steals her twilight down the crimson'd west, He climbs the top-most mast, to seek once more The far-seen coast, where al_is wishes rest. He views its dark line on the distant sky, And Fancy lead_im to his little home, He sees his weeping love, he hears her sigh, He sooth_er griefs, and tells of joys to come. Eve yields to night, the breeze t_intry gales, In one vast shade the seas and shores repose; He turns hi_ching eyes,—his spirit fails, The chill tear falls;—sad to the deck he goes!
The storm of midnight swells, the sails are furl'd, Deep sounds the lead, bu_inds no friendly shore, Fast o'er the waves the wretched bark is hurl'd, '_llen, Ellen! we must meet no more!' Lightnings, that shew the vast and foam_eep, The rending thunders, as they onward roll, The loud, loud winds, tha_'er the billows sweep— Shake the firm nerve, appall the bravest soul! Ah!
what avails the seamen's toiling care! The straining cordage bursts, the mas_s riv'n; The sounds of terror groan along the air, Then sink afar;—the bar_n rocks is driv'n! Fierce o'er the wreck the whelming waters pass'd, Th_elpless crew sunk in the roaring main! Henry's faint accents trembled in th_last— 'Farewel, my love!—we ne'er shall meet again!' Oft, at the calm an_ilent evening hour, When summer-breezes linger on the wave, A melanchol_oice is heard to pour Its lonely sweetness o'er poor Henry's grave! And oft, at midnight, airy strains are heard Around the grove, where Ellen's form i_aid; Nor is the dirge by village-maidens fear'd, For lovers' spirits guar_he holy shade!